How the Pros Hosted Your Homemade Website with WordPress
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a) a creative type who has a good sense of humor and a natural gift for gabbing or b) a total nerd who happens to be very, very good at creating websites. If you meet either of these descriptions, congratulations! You’re in the right place, because this article is going to introduce you to a side of the web that you never knew existed. Let’s get down to business.
Why Use WordPress?
WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) around, which means it can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. It’s a free and open-source software, which means we have all the source code available to us, so if there’s something you want to improve or change, you can go in and make some tweaks. If you’re new to WordPress, there’s a lot to explore and get familiar with, and that’s what this article is going to help you with. Let’s dive in.
The Benefits Of WordPress
There are a lot of benefits to using WordPress, the most obvious one being that it’s free. The second most obvious one is that it’s open-source, which means anyone can go in and edit it to their heart’s content. If you’re building a business-oriented website, you’re obviously going to want to ensure your site is as professional and polished as possible, but even your personal blog or website can benefit from a nice polish now and then.
Speaking of personal blogs, let’s take a quick look at some of the other advantages of WordPress.
One of the cool things about WordPress is that it’s very, very customizable. This includes everything from the look of your site to the way it functions. The most convenient way to show you what you can do with your site is by using a tool called the WordPress Customizer. This is an addon for WordPress that gives you full control over the appearance and layout of your site. With the Customizer, you can choose from a variety of themes and layouts, and even if you don’t plan on changing much about the look of your site, you can use it to test out different combinations of styling and layout. Once you find one you like, you can hit save and continue on to the next task.
WordPress also gives you the option to save your work as a draft, so if you ever need to come back and edit something you previously wrote, you can do so without worrying about losing your work. Finally, when you’re ready to publish your site, you can use a plugin called the WordPress Quick Publish to do so. This plugin automates the publishing process, so all you have to do is confirm the details of your blog post once the tool has finished its task. You can also choose from a variety of options for how you want your blog post to look, so you don’t have to worry about getting everything perfect the first time around.
One of the reasons why WordPress is such a popular software is because of its robust backend. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the backend is the part of a website that is behind the scenes. The backend handles the admin stuff for your site, like uploading content and editing articles. The robustness of the WordPress backend is evidenced by the fact that there are a lot of third-party plugins and tools that help make WP easier to use. Some of these tools even help make certain tasks like theme customization or SEO easier than ever before.
Powerful Theme Engine
As we’ve mentioned, WordPress is very customizable. One of the ways it is customizable is through themes, which are available for download from the WordPress repository. To make matters worse, themes can also be very, very complicated, and there are a lot of tutorials out there that can help you figure out how to implement a particular theme or create your own from scratch. The best part of all is that themes are completely free, so if you ever find one you like, you can download and install it in a matter of minutes, without having to worry about payment details or additional costs.
When you’re deciding which theme to use for your site, it’s important to take a closer look at what the creators had in mind when they made the theme. For example, did you know that many themes are coded with the four-color palette of Facebook in mind? This means they were designed to look like the social media network. If you check out the demos for a variety of themes, you’ll notice they all have a bit of a Facebook feel to them, with rounded corners, spacious grids, and plenty of muted colors.
Because we mentioned above that the WordPress backend is very customizable, this also means it’s very SEO-friendly. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a set of methods and tactics used to appear online and obtain high search engine rankings for your website. When search engines like Google or Bing index your site, they look for specific keywords and phrases to trigger search results. For example, if you’re looking into buying a new house, you might type in “new house inspiration” or “new house trends” as keywords, and the search engine will then return a variety of websites with helpful advice, information, or just general inspiration.
Now that you have an idea of the many advantages of WordPress, it’s time to get down to business and learn how to use this platform to its fullest potential. Let’s take a quick look at some of the basics.
Getting Started With WordPress
Like any other new software or platform, getting started with WordPress is pretty simple. All you need to do is visit the WordPress.com homepage, and then you’ll see a small button that says “Get Started.” This will take you to the WordPress dashboard, which is the central control panel for your site. From the dashboard, you can do almost everything related to your website, including editing content, installing plugins, and setting up automated tasks like blog post publishing or email marketing.
To get started with WordPress, simply click the Get Started button to be taken to the WordPress.com homepage. Then, from there, click on the button that says “Get Started” or “Sign Up” (depending on the device you’re using) to be taken to the WordPress dashboard. Once on the dashboard, you can click on the “Create a Site” button to get started with WordPress.
On the next page that appears, you’ll see a form asking for your name, email, and website. After you fill out this information, you’ll be asked to create a username and password. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be brought back to the dashboard, where you can click on the “Get Started” button to get redirected to your newly created WordPress site. This is where you can start creating content and implementing different themes and plugins to further customize your site.
Customize Your Site With Themes
One of the things you can do from the WordPress dashboard is to download and install a theme for your site. When you do this, you will no longer be on the default theme – Business – which came with WordPress. Instead, you’ll be on a different theme, which you can download and install in a matter of minutes. Let’s take a look at how to do this.
To download and install a theme, simply click on the Theme button on the dashboard and choose either the free or premium version. Once on the download page, you’ll see a variety of themes to choose from, or you can even create your own from scratch. To install a theme, click on the Preview button to be taken to a preview screen that shows you what the theme looks like and offers the option to click on the Install button to start the download process.
After you download and install the theme, you’ll see a big, green OK button on the preview page. This means the theme is correctly installed and ready to use. Now, you can click on the Theme button on the dashboard to access your theme’s settings panel, where you can make adjustments to the look and feel of your site. If you’re completely new to WordPress, I would recommend creating a test site using a free theme like Twenty One, which is what we’ll be using in the rest of this article.